Heart Disease Expert Forum
Can anxiety/stress affect an ECG?
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Can anxiety/stress affect an ECG?

I had an ECG today and during the test I could feel my heart beating faster than normal.  Could the stress that I was feeling surrounding the test affect the results?

I do have a history of panic attacks and health-related anxiety and have had 2 ECG's in the last 4 years that were both normal, but I'm just curious if the stress makes it more difficult for the doctor to read?  The reason for the ECG was to screen for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which my father was recently diagnosed with.

Thanks in advance for any advice! :)
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Anxiety or stress may cause your heart to beat faster than usual and an EKG would show the rapid heart rate. By using an ECG to screen for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, your doctor is looking for signs that the chambers of your heart are enlarged. This is typically reflected by the voltage or amplitude of the ECG signals. This is not affected by your anxiety.  It is very reassuring that your previous ECG's have been normal.
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